Saturday 17 March 2018

Robber snuffed out life of widow, court told

Natasha Reid

A WIDOW'S life was ended by a "cold, calculating robber", a prosecutor told a murder trial yesterday.

And the lawyer told the jury that if ever there was a murder, then the killing of Anne Corcoran (60) was it.

Both sides yesterday gave their closing speeches at the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a Cork painter charged with murdering the widow.

Oliver Hayes (49) of Clancool Terrace, Bandon, admits manslaughter but denies murdering Mrs Corcoran between January 19 and 21, 2009 after abducting her from her farmhouse at Maulnaskimlehane, Kilbrittain.

Mr Hayes also admits falsely imprisoning her in his house and stealing €3,000 from her bank account following her death. Prosecutor John O'Kelly reminded the court of the defendant's admission that he deliberately targeted the woman for money, seeing her as a soft target. "This was a human being whose life was snuffed out by a cold, calculating robber," he said, pointing out that Mr Hayes had brought two feet of rope with which to tie up his victim.


"When she was no longer necessary and had become a liability, he murdered her," he said. "It was going to be very inconvenient if Anne Corcoran ever woke up because she was going to be able to identify him without any problem."

Mr O'Kelly reminded the jurors that intent to cause serious injury was also enough to bring in a murder verdict.

"You heard Dr Carson say that unconsciousness is classified as a serious injury," he said, referring to the defence witness, pathologist Dr Derek Carson.

Blaise O'Carroll, defending, suggested that if Mrs Corcoran had given his client her PIN and bank card earlier there would still have been a robbery and false imprisonment but maybe no death. He said Mrs Corcoran had asked his client not to put anything over her head when he was abducting her and so he had not.

"So there's a tiny glimmer of humanity in there," he said.

Mr O'Carroll also referred to Mr Hayes' testimony that he gagged the widow after she gave him her bank details and before he knocked her unconscious.

"Why put a gag on someone if you had any intention of killing them?" he asked.

Mr O'Carroll reminded the jury that the defendant would have to pay the price for the unlawful killing and false imprisonment no matter the verdict.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News